Today I went from a house
Where a woman swayed as her body opened
Gently vocalising, in tune with herself
Warm water ready to embrace her
With candles as the only light
And two women sitting quietly
Watching and waiting
Whispering words of encouragement
Holding her and her space
Today I went from this sacred space
Where time slowed down
And all that mattered was this moment
And this woman
I went from this sacred space
Into the belly of the machine
With its bright lights
Its beeping tech
Its dry, cold, clinical rooms
And its dry, cold, clinical staff
In this space where everything is timed
Where numbers are more important
Than the person they are supposed to be caring for
Today I went into the belly of the machine
That ‘saves’ lives
But destroys spirits
Where the sense of the sacred is lost
Where it’s just another day at the office
Where kind people are a rare find
And the mother is just a vessel
Where the machines take over
Where babies are born distressed
And nobody comforts them
The machine eats birthing women
Like an unsatisfiable beast
And spits them out, emptied of life
And emptied of spirit
Because as long as the baby is alive,
Who cares if the mother is broken?
Today I watched in a theatre
Medical staff milling around
Like a swarm of busy bees
Doing the tasks they have been trained to do
Told to do, programmed to do
Where nobody saw her
As she lied on the table
Reduced to her body parts
I heard them say “congratulations”
Like repeating a script, without meaning it
And as I sat there, I wondered:
How did they become so dehumanised?
And as I watched them, I wondered
How did they forget?
How to connect and how to be kind?
And as I watched, I told myself
I never want to be there again.
It is too late
They are too far gone
Blind to their own conditioning
In the maternity machine.
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